Real SMB IT: Collaboration And Tech Services

January 27, 2010

Let me tell you about a problem that most smaller businesses have!

You pay boat loads of money, either on retainer, or time & materials services for IT support – But, well, you wonder – what are you getting for all of that money?

Have you ever fit that description?

For small businesses that said yes to the above, I bet I can guess how your IT support processes currently operate too!

If a problem occurs, someone telephones or e-mails Your IT support supplier. Simply enough, that supplier tells you that they will fix it. I would also bet that if your supplier needs to physically visit your facility -they probably get hit with comments such as; “while you are here, Bill over here has not been able to print all week!”

Sound familiar?

And know with a huge inductive leap of logic, I can also guess that if you asked yourself (or your staff) about their perception of your IT support vendor, the perception will be at least neutral, and possibly even quite negative.

And perception is key!

Your IT support provider may be doing a great job – but if you cannot see it, if it is not regularly communicated, that negative perception will not go away.

In your business, who owns that IT relationship?

Right now? If you are like most smaller businesses, probably no one owns that relationship. And when I state owning that relationship, I don’t mean who is assigned to sending the e-mail or making the phone call when something needs to be fixed.

Owning that relationship means that along with sending that e-mail, that follow up information is updated and documented.

Owning that relationship means being able to see that you called for IT support 5 times last week, and that all 5 issues were either taken care of quickly and effectively, or maybe they were not. (but then you will know!)

And How?

It can be as easy as an Excel spreadsheet.

The negative part about documents such as a spreadsheet is that emailing that document around can grow to be a nightmare. And the goal is visibility!

There are also simple, hosted tools that for a couple of hundred dollars per year will provide on-line dashboards of your tech services.

The SMB Takeaway

There is that tired old adage; Is everybody on the same page?

We can truly say that it has never been easier to keep everybody on that same page when true collaboration and communication exists with your technology services supplier.

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Photo Credit Ennor via flickr

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